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City Moment – Two Daughters, Mayapuri

The remarkable Delhi instant.

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]

The young woman in the blue saree was lifting bricks one by one from the ground, and keeping the whole pile on her head. The Delhi Walla meets the labourer on a dusty roadside in west Delhi’s Mayapuri.

A small child is standing beside the woman.

“She is Nancy, my daughter,” the woman says.

On being asked that why the daughter is not in her school at this time of the day, she says, “We keep moving from one place in Dilli to another in search of work. We don’t have a permanent house. How can we send Nancy to any school?”

The woman, carefully balancing the bricks on her head, starts to walk slowly towards a construction site. Her daughter follows her.

On the way, the mother and child walks past a man protectively carrying a little girl in his arms. The girl has a pink bag on her shoulders. She is wearing a red jacket over what seems to be a school dress. It is a poignant moment.

Accidents of birth




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